It’s true, you know. He’ll be playing a concert at the Fillmore this week—apparently in a kimono—and were I a man of means, I would make the trip just out of sheer freakshow curiosity. And who knows, maybe I’d be surprised. Seagal makes a case for his blues credentials in today’s interview with Aidin Vaziri:
Q: These are original songs?
A: Well, I had to do a couple of covers because on the album I had the whole Muddy Waters band and I wanted to show respect to them, so I did a couple of songs by Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy.
Q: How did you get those guys to play on your album? Did you use rope?
A: I’m friends with all those guys. I live in Memphis. I’ve been in the blues for some 30-odd years. I know them all.
Q: Nobody knows this. It’s like breaking news.
A: I hate to tell you this, but a lot of people know it. I’ll give an example, OK? If I played with B.B. King a hundred times that many times around the world, do you think anyone might have seen it? And I’ve played with a lot more cats than B.B. King all over the world. Lots and lots of times. Believe me, there’s a lot of people out there that know.
I am fascinated by the question, “If I played with B.B. King a hundred times that many times around the world, do you think anyone might have seen it?” Is he saying that he actually did play with B.B. King a hundred times, or is that some kind of zen riddle, like “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Seagal, as we all know, is a self-styled Buddhist sage, which leads to this exchange:
Q: As far as you know, are you the only blues-playing Buddhist?
A: I’m sure that’s not true at all. There’s probably hundreds of thousands of blues-playing Buddhists.
Imagine that, a veritable army of string-bending, kimono-clad Buddhists. I picture them holed up in the jungle with Seagal as Col. Kurtz (as you can see from the picture, he’s well on his way to Kurtz-style girth). When trouble is brewing somewhere in the world, the Buddhist Guitar Army parachutes in, gets the warring sides to meditate together, lays an ass-kicking on any holdouts, then plays the blues all night. Tell me, what problem couldn’t they solve?